December 2023 Minutes

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Draft Minutes of the General Meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council held in the Port Hall on Monday, 4th December 2023
Present :
Jim Riach, Chair
Cllr Martin Earl
Peter Stewart, Vice-Chair
David Mackie, National Parks
Becky Saunders, Secretary
Jane ? Local community member
Claire Outterside, Treasurer (minutes)
Robin Armstrong
1. Members Present and Apologies for Absence
Apologies from Alastair Orr Ewing
2. Declarations of Interest in the Items of Business
There were no declarations of interest.
3. Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the General Meeting held on 2nd October 2023
The adoption of the draft Minutes of the General Meeting held on 2nd October 2023 was proposed by PS and seconded by RA.
4. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd October 2023
4.1 Appointment of Minute Taker
BS advised that she had been in discussion with Jean Cowie however they were unable to identify anyone to assist with the minutes. DM advised he was aware of someone who may be interested and passed their details over for BS to make contact. Action : BS
4.2 State of play re website etc
BS has spent time updating the website and repairing links etc. Spoken to Colin Clarke at STEP however there is no funding available until April 24. JR asked that anyone with ideas /suggestions regarding content for the new CC website let us know.
4.3 Inchmahome
BS has been in touch with Joyce Kitching, District Visitor and Community Manager of HES, however there is no further update and it will be after Jan to find out the plan going forward. RA advised he has noticed recent activity at the site and that the boats have now gone for refurbishment. CC agreed to keep in view going forward.
4.4 The Community Ownership Fund round 3
This may be of benefit to the Village hall/Church and should be kept in view. It would be a good idea to have a section of the new CC website dedicated to funding opportunities available to the local community. ME advised that the Share Rural Network is a good site for information re this and will forward information.
4.5 Local Place Plan – Email from Hannah Robinson
Further discussion was has surrounding having a Local Place Plan. DM confirmed that funding is available from the National Park should we wish to progress same. They are being referred to more and more going forward. It was accepted that one of the barriers to progression is difficulty getting engagement. ME made the point that POM is somewhat unique in that it covers 2 boundaries (Stirling Council and the National Park) and we are a small community spread thinly across the area. It may be beneficial to ask the question of how S.C and the N.P could support us in relation to the development of a plan. Action – JR
JR then proposed to move to agenda item 7.4 Big Conversation Strathard CC Lobbying Group
Strathard CC made a suggestion that small local communities should band together in relation to responses to Stirling Councils Big Conversation and organised a meeting which was attended by JR. Some proposed cuts would disproportionately affect our smaller rural communities and that we should continue to lobby on behalf of these communities. Various concerns were raised from all the local communities and it was proposed that each go back and select a top 3. Transport cuts, Nursery/education cuts, cuts to budgets for additional needs, libraries, village halls, public toilets, bin collections and road repairs were all discussed. BS advised she had received an email from Kat Dalgleish sharing her concerns re transport cuts. It was noted that the primary school require the use of the village hall for 6 months of the year to enable them to deliver their statutory requirement to provide P.E for pupils so cuts to the village hall grants would have a considerable impact.
ME advised that this is the most challenging budget setting ever for Stirling Council and that it inevitable that cuts will have to be made unless more money is made available to S.C.
Jane Baron felt that it is imperative that the rural voice is represented within the council and it seems there is less value for money in rural areas. Equality of provision is concerning in areas re busses and travel for essential services. Lobbying at a national level would have more impact than local level discussions. JR spoke on the community bus run in Glenfarg and similar local transport arrangements in Gartmore etc that provide community support and provisions.
Stirling Council budget setting is the end of February. Top 3 areas of concern for POM were considered to be Transport cuts, schools and nurseries, library services and road end bin collections.
5. Roads & Other Issues
5.1 Roads & Verges
Included in Big Conversation
5.2 Letter re road closures communications to Stirling Council
Utility works appear to be the issue, council closures require to adhere to a more stringent set of rules however utility companies can be more vague. The only way information has been forthcoming has been asking the actual workmen onsite at the time of the event. Letter drafted to be sent out to Stirling Council for answers. Action: BS
5.3 Cardross Bridge
Some progress has been made and the tender for works will be in early 24 for works to commence by March.
5.4 Gritting of the B8034
No update if the small gritter arrangement will be in place this year. Email to S.C to request if this has been agreed again this winter. Action: BS
6. Financial
6.1 Statement to end November 23
CO provided the bank statement to end October (Nov not yet received). Future fundraising will be required to boost the coffers especially in relation to the maintenance of the community defibrillator.
6.2 Bank account & signatories
Finally we have success with Bank of Scotland and CO, BS and JR have now all been added as signatories and have online access. Previous signatories have been removed.
6.3 Community Council Administration & Minute taker Grant
Funds have now been paid into the CC account from S.C
7. Correspondence
7.1 General Correspondence received
No local correspondence to report.
7.2 Stirling Local Licensing Forum
Require new members if anyone is interested – disseminate info to the local community.
7.3 Kat Dalglish – DRT and Public Transport
Discussed earlier during Big Conversation. ME advised that their was a plan to be a pilot project for a DRT ‘Fixed Timetable Service’. Jane advised that when it changed to booking by a Friday the council removed the spontaneity of weekend travel. JR The council procure the taxi services however none of the firms local to POM still do it. There is digital DRT in other areas however Stirling Council don’t have the providers in the first place.
7.4 Big Conversation Strathard CC Lobbying Group
See earlier
7.5 The Community Council Fund
There is a grant available for community resilience funds, it may be possible for a generator to be put into the village hall for community use during power failures. Further discussion to be has as to how this fund could be managed.
8. Planning & Licensing Issues
8.1 New Planning Applications
Nothing to report.
8.2 Planning Updates
Nothing to report.
8.3 Planning Notifications
Nothing to report.
9. Forestry
9.1 Forestry & Land Scotland Local Activities Report
No report received from F&LS.
10. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
10.1 Port of Menteith NPA entry sign
Robust discussion surrounding this, CC in agreement that we do want to continue to pursue this. DM advised he is finding it difficult to gain appetite from within the NP to move this forward. JR then advised that the public information document Strathard Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan actually tells you that the entrance to the National Park at Port of Menteith needs a sign. Await publication of the document.
11. Reports
11.1 Councillor’s report
ME updated the CC on Stirling Councils difficulties surrounding budget setting during the Big Conversation discussion. There will be an increase to the EV charge points as it is not covering costs. The Park & Ride site will increase to 35pKWh all other slow and fast charge points to 45p KWh and rapid chargers to 59p KWh. The minimum spend will also increase from £1.50 to £2. The White Ribbon Campaign (of which ME is a champion) raises awareness of gender based violence with 16 days of action, Stirling University is involved and moduels are being delivered to high schools. 10000 beer mats with information are being distributed. December the 7th is the next big Stirling council meeting.
11.2 NPA report
DM’s report to be attached
11.3 Carse of Stirling project group report
JR advised that they had had an open day at Gargunnock. They are pursuing funding opportunities however nothing is currently live as its only a small group, they would like to engage further with the farming community.
11.4 Strathard & Trossachs Visitor Management
JR advised that this is at the National Park board for approval. The NP have completed a transport study for improved public transport to NP areas. Await implementation. ME confirmed that it was not geared towards visitor routes and instead concentrated on commuter routes.
11.5 Port Church & Cemetery
RA gave information on the upcoming Christmas eve service, poster to be shared via CC newsletter. The Stirling Observer details services. The church has chosen the Childrens Hospice to support in fundraising.
11.6 Port Hall Committee report
The hall remains keen to embrace any interest from potential new members to the committee.
11.7 School report
Report from Ben Outterside to be attached
11.8 Police report
Nothing to report.
12. Any Other Competent Business
12.1 Claire’s move and its implications
Due to a house move CO is no longer resident within POM and therefore the correct boundary for a CC member. Graeme Forrester has been emailed directly as the CC is currently at its minimum number of members. CO will canvass for a replacement.
13. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting : Monday 19th February 2024, 7pm at Port of Menteith Village Hall